Mothers and daughters in National Charity League volunteer at nonprofits such as the Baton Rouge Food Bank. Pictured here are Renee and Cooper Willis; Dany and Hannah Kaplan; Katherine and Elizabeth Scully; and Mallory, Carolyn and Riley Golightly. Photo by Collin Richie.

Give back to BR in 2023 with these local volunteer opportunities

When starting a new year, it can be easy to get caught up in personal goals and finding ways to better ourselves. But giving back to others can be just as personally fulfilling–maybe even more so–and we’re making it easy with this roundup of 10 local volunteer opportunities:

1.  Hope Ministries Client Choice Food Pantry:

With its grocery store-style setup, Hope Ministries Client Choice Food Pantry offers several opportunities to help those in need, including unloading and stocking, working as a Client Choice Food Pantry Assistant and conducting food drives. To become a volunteer, fill out this form.

2. The Shepherd’s Market Food Pantry:

Volunteer opportunities are available for all ages and include picking up produce, greeting people and assisting with applications, unloading deliveries, stocking the food pantry, and assisting with shopping. Volunteers are invited to help at any time with no advanced signup necessary. For more information and a calendar for volunteer opportunities, visit The Shepherd’s Market website.

3. Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank:

The list of possible ways to help here is long: donating food, taking a day to assist with sorting and packing, working in the community garden, helping with office work, hosting a food drive, or participating in initiatives like the mobile pantry program. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank also hosts family nights and other events to get everyone involved. To learn more about the best foods to donate and more volunteer opportunities, visit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank website.

4. Front Yard Bikes:

Help a child learn a skill by volunteering with Front Yard Bikes. Front Yard Bikes has several programs dedicated to impacting the lives of children and the Baton Rouge community through shop work with the Earn a Bike program where children can work toward building and owning a bike, gardening, tutoring and cleaning the shop. To volunteer or get more information, email [email protected].

5. St. Agnes Catholic Church Food Pantry:

St. Agnes Catholic Church works with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to serve the parish community through a food pantry. On the first Thursday of every month, volunteers can help sort the food for distribution. Nonperishable food items are accepted year round. For more information, visit their website or call (225) 383-4127.

6. Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area:

There are multiple volunteer opportunities with this nonprofit that provides education and support to those affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Helping with cooking, gardening or music at Charlie’s Place Respite Center; providing administrative assistance or helping with repairs; and lending a hand to the annual Walk/Run to Remember are among the possibilities. Click here for details.

7. Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge:

Need something to do during the week or just want to play with a dog? Volunteer at the Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge Dog Adoption House between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and help with tasks ensuring the dogs get the exercise they need, taking photos and cleaning. For more information about volunteering, call (225) 239-7368 or email [email protected].

8. Companion Animal Alliance: 

This nonprofit animal shelter welcomes volunteers over the age of 18 to work in the shelter with animals. Youth volunteers age 16 and 17 can help with administrative tasks, while kids 15 and under are invited to share their love by hosting supply donation drives, making dog treat bags, or crafting cat mats and catnip socks. Find out more here.

9. Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital:

Volunteers help to make a hospital visit feel not so scary for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital’s young patients. Adult volunteers are asked to commit to 100 hours per year, but one-time visits and part-time volunteer opportunities are also available. Get all the details here.

10. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center:

Core volunteers commit to complete a four-hour shift each week, doing things like helping with guest services or lending assistance to patients. Help is also needed with putting together the center’s special events, and cancer survivors are invited to share their experiences in support groups. See this website for more information.

For more ways to give back to the local community, head to the top of our page and search “Giving Back” for an archive of our monthly features on Baton Rouge nonprofits.